Supreme Court rejects National Reconciliation Order (NRO); Gilani supports President Zardari in the wake of NRO controversy; Kayani meets Prime Minister Gilani; General Petraeus urges Pakistan to take stronger action against Taliban;
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  • The controversial National reconciliation Order (NRO) was rejected by the Supreme Court on December 16. As a result, all cases which were dropped earlier would be reopened. The order written by the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary stated that the NRO was not in ‘national interests’ and was in “violation of various provisions of the constitution.”1 In a related development, Prime Minister Gilani expressed solidarity with President Zardari who is facing crisis after the NRO was turned down by the SC. Gilani ruled the possibility of revisiting the Swiss cases against Zardari which were closed few years back.2

    Meanwhile, COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani met the Prime Minister twice on December 14 in Islamabad. Kayani was accompanied by Chief of CENTCOM in the first meeting and in a separate meeting he took up the issue of Barrister Kamal Azfar who recently blamed the GHQ and the CIA as a threat to democracy in Pakistan.3

    Amongst other developments, US General David Petraeus urged Pakistan to take stronger action against the Taliban leadership inside its territory so as to promote long term peace in Afghanistan. Petraeus was speaking to the press on the occasion of the sixth Manama Dialogue Security Conference on December 13.4 US Vice President, Joe Biden expressed further concerns on the situation in Pakistan noting that US strategic interests in South Asia were attached to “Stabilising Pakistan and defeating Al Qaeda.” In an interview to a TV channel on December 15, Biden emphasized the need to dismantle the Haqqani network to bring long term regional peace, reports noted.5

    The Defence Minister, Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtaar was debarred from traveling to China as his name figured in the Exit Control List (ECL) as one of beneficiaries of the NRO.6